December 2013 Climate Summary for Huntsville and Muscle Shoals...


Temperature swings during the month of December were rather large for the Tennessee Valley, even for this time of year.  Temperatures as warm as the mid 70s on two seperate occasions were followed in relative quick fashion by freezing temperatures.  Although the day-to-day and week-to-week swings in temperature regimes was marked, the overall result was warmer than normal conditions during the month.  At Huntsville, the monthly average temperature of 44.5 degrees was 0.6 degrees above normal, while the 44.3 degree average at Muscle Shoals was 1.0 degrees above normal.  The most anomalous days were marked by unusually warm temperatures, occurring on the 4th, 5th and later on the 21st and 22nd.  At Huntsville, a record high minimum temperature of 63 degrees occurred on the 21st, while a record high temperature of 71 degrees was tied on the following day.  Interestingly, the record of 71 degrees on the 22nd was tied just several minutes after midnight before a cold front moved across the area!  At Muscle Shoals record high temperatures were tied on the 4th and set on the 21st.  No record low temperatures were set for the month.

Daily Temperature Graphs for each location (click on the images for a larger version).

Huntsville - Dec 2013 Temperature Graph

Muscle Shoals - Dec 2013 Temperature Graph

Daily Temperatures for Huntsville November 2013 - click on the image for a larger version. Daily Temperatures for Muscle Shoals November 2013 - click on the image for a larger version.

Temperature Statistics for Huntsville and Muscle Shoals. All temperatures are in degrees Fahrenheit.

December Statistic


Muscle Shoals

Average Monthly Temperature 44.5 44.3
Normal Temperature* 43.9 43.3
Deviation From Normal 0.6 Above Normal 1.0 Above Normal
Monthly Ranking** 41st Warmest 44th Warmest
Warmest December 53.0 (1933) 52.9 (1933)
Coldest December 33.8 (1989) 33.4 (1989)
Max Temperature 78 (Dec 5th)

77 (Dec 5th)

Min Temperature 20 (Dec 25th) 21 (Dec 13th and 25th)
All-Time Max Temperature

81 (Dec 8, 1956)

78 (Dec 7, 1998)
     (Dec 24, 1964)
     (Dec 24, 1955)
     (Dec 31, 1951)

       (Dec 7, 1951)
       (Dec 5, 1933)

All-Time Min Temperature

-3 (Dec 22&23, 1989)

-5 (Dec 23, 1989)

Record Highs

63 degrees on the 21st (High Minimum)
71 degrees on the 22nd

76 degrees on the 4th
64 degrees on the 21st (High Minimum)
76 degrees on the 21st

Record Lows




Precipitation was above normal across nearly all of the eastern half of the Huntsville forecast area, while precipitation near to below normal for most of the western half of the area.  At Huntsville, the precipitation total of 6.57 inches was 0.80 inches above normal.  Meanwhile, Muscle Shoals received just 4.77 inches, which was 0.91 inches below normal.  No precipitation records were set for the month.  A trace of snow fell at Muscle Shoals on the 30th, which tied a record of a trace for the date, which occurred eight times in the past.  No snow was recorded at Huntsville International Airport for the month.                 

Precipitation Estimates and Departures from Normal for December for the Huntsville Forecast Area (amounts are in units of inches).

Precipitation Estimates

Precipitation Departures from Normal

Precipitation estimates - click on the image for a larger version Estimated precipitation anomalies - click on the image for a larger version


Precipitation Statistics for Huntsville and Muscle Shoals (amounts are in units of inches). 

December Statistic


Muscle Shoals

Monthly Precipitation 6.57 4.77
Normal Precipitation 5.77 5.68
Departure from Normal 0.80 Above Normal 0.91 Below Normal
Monthly Ranking 35th Wettest over 50th
Wettest December 18.68 (1990) 19.19 (1990)
Driest December 0.58 (1945) 0.65 (1980)
Wettest Calendar Day 1.54 (Dec 8th) 1.16 (Dec 6th)
Record Wettest Day 9.07 (Dec 22, 1990) 5.20 (Dec 1, 1991)
Precipitation Records (Dec 2013) None None
Snowfall (Dec 2013) None Trace
Normal Snowfall 0.3 0.4


The Monthly Outlook for January from the Climate Prediction Center...

The one month temperature outlook indicates equal chances for above, near or below normal temperatures for the Tennessee Valley climatic zones.  The 3-tiered probabilities are as follows...

Above Normal....33%
Near Normal......34%
Below Normal....33%

The one month precipitation outlook indicates equal chances for below, near or above normal precipitation for the central Tennessee Valley climatic zones. The 3-tiered probabilities are as follows...

Above Normal....33%
Near Normal......34%
Below Normal....33%

What is normal for January? ...Huntsville daily normals and records / Muscle Shoals daily normals and records

* Normal temperatures and precipitation are based on the 1981-2010 climatological period. All temperature data are expressed in degrees Fahrenheit.
** Temperature data for Huntsville date back to 1907, while precipitation data are available since 1894. Any months that contain missing daily temperature or precipitation data are not counted in the rankings.

*** Temperature and precipitation data for Muscle Shoals date back to 1893, however sporadic outages of data occur especially in the 1910s and again from September 1995 through May 1997. Any months that contain missing daily temperature or precipitation data are not counted in the rankings.

Note...all data above are preliminary and have not undergone final quality control by the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). Therefore, these data are subject to revision. Final and certified data can be accessed at the NCDC at the following location...

One month and seasonal temperature and precipitation outlooks may be obtained from the Climate Prediction Center at the following location...

KDW is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.